THE tourism industry in Fermanagh could be in for a boost as hotel giant Premier Inn is eyeing up Enniskillen as a possible location for a new hotel.
The hotel chain which is seeking to expand across the North has identified Enniskillen as a potential new outlet, and if it comes to fruition, it would be a big shot in the arm for the county. 
The company, owned by Whitbread, already has seven hotels in operation in the North, and Ulster Business reported that Enniskillen and Newry have been named as future locations. 
The hotel chain is known for its budget accommodation and a new hotel in Enniskillen could create dozens of new jobs in the area. 
Local Enniskillen Councillor Paul Blake believes this would be an extremely positive development for the county. 
“I think it testifies to the good work that is being carried out by Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism in promoting Fermanagh that a chain of this nature has had a look at Enniskillen and seen it as a good and prosperous town and that they are considering it. 
It would be a very positive move if things came to fruition.”
While Premier Inns  are usually in city centre locations, smaller branches are in smaller towns like Carrickfergus or Lisburn. 
Cllr Blake continues, “a smaller boutique hotel would suit Enniskillen and they are a big reputable brand and I think it would be great for Enniskillen as we are trying to attract more people here.
 If you have a chain like this, it will definitely help to attract more people to the area.
“It would also offer more bedroom space in the county for more visitors and within people’s budgets. We have so much here – the lakes, Cuilcagh, Belleek Pottery and Marble Arch Caves that will bring people here and it is just about having enough bedroom space to accommodate them.”
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have said,
“While the Council welcomes investment and opportunities for job creation in the district, as the authority charged with enforcing planning legislation, all planning applications would be treated on merit and in keeping with legislative requirements. No planning application for this proposal has yet been received.”
Premier Inn have been contacted by the Herald, but had not responded at the time of going to print. 
Meanwhile, another prime property at the east end entrance to Enniskillen has just come on the market and is expected to attract considerable interest in the business community.
The East Bridge Street property, formerly home to Cafe Cellini, was the subject of an ambitious plan to develop into a riverside bar-restaurant complex three years ago. 
While currently an eyesore, there is no doubt the property, on the East Bridge and with one side overlooking the Erne, has massive development potential and selling agent Eadie McFarland describe it as a ‘gateway’ site to the county town.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA